The Cognitive Health Committee explores how dietary patterns, foods, nutrients and bioactive food components support optimization and maintenance of cognitive performance and mood- and emotion-related outcomes.

With a focus on health promotion, the Cognitive Health Committee advances translational nutrition research - prioritizing real world cognitive health outcomes with meaningful impact on quality of life from adolescence through older age. 

Read about our February 2024 Stakeholder Roundtable.

Read our Op-Ed on What Brain Benefits Consumers Want

The specific goals of the Committee are to:

  • Build the evidence required to fill data gaps in support of dietary recommendations or guidance related to how diet and nutrition can promote optimized cognitive health
  • Promote and/or develop research guidance and best practices, with clarity on limitations – both for research conduct and for research interpretation

Why is this important?

Neurocognitive health is central to quality of life. However, dietary guidance and food development that support the optimal brain in “generally healthy” populations is limited. The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee explored neurocognitive health through several systematic reviews and was faced with a literature having “considerable variation in testing methods, inconsistent validity and reliability of cognitive testing methods, and differences between dietary patterns and cognitive outcomes examined,” reducing the ability to draw conclusions.

Understanding how foods, nutrients, diets and bioactive food components support optimization and maintenance of cognitive performance has potential for significant societal and public health benefit.

Overarching Themes to be Addressed:

  • Advancing research methods that prioritize outcome measures with real-world impact
  • Advancing research approaches emphasizing causal pathways linking diet with cognitive health

COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Balchem
Cargill
Florida Department of Citrus
General Mills, Inc.
Haleon
Kraft Heinz
Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.
Reckitt Benckiser

ACADEMIC ADVISORS
Emily Ho, PhD, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine

Maryam Makowski, PhD, Stanford University

Linda Snetselaar, PhD, RD, University of Iowa

Hayley Young, PhD, Swansea University

GOVERNMENT ADVISOR
Cindy Davis, PhD, USDA, ARS

Publications

Alignment of Consumers’ Expected Brain Benefits from Food and Supplements with Measurable Cognitive Performance Tests

Closing the gap between science and consumers and fostering co-creative approaches to nutrition research are critical to the development of products and dietary recommendations that support realizable cognitive benefits that benefit public health.

Read more about Alignment of Consumers’ Expected Brain Benefits from Food and Supplements with Measurable Cognitive Performance Tests

Perspective: Advancing Dietary Guidance for Cognitive Health—Focus On Solutions to Harmonize Test Selection, Implementation and Evaluation

Harmonizing cognitive task selection in nutrition research, with a focus on solutions toward informing dietary guidance for cognitive health, is important to address a gap identified by government advisory panels.

Read more about Perspective: Advancing Dietary Guidance for Cognitive Health—Focus On Solutions to Harmonize Test Selection, Implementation and Evaluation

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Events

Optimizing Cognitive Function with Foods, Nutrients, and Dietary Patterns: The Science and the Translation

Virtual, Event

The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) addressed several questions related to neurocognition, but was faced with “considerable variation in testing methods, inconsistent validity and reliability of cognitive testing methods, and differences between dietary patterns and cognitive outcomes examined,” precluding the ability to develop dietary recommendations. This webinar will focus on the science and translation of optimizing cognitive function with food.

Read more about Optimizing Cognitive Function with Foods, Nutrients, and Dietary Patterns: The Science and the Translation

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IAFNS participated in the American Society for Nutrition Annual meeting - NUTRITION 2023 - presenting new work on funded projects.

Are We Ready? Resilience as a Biomarker for a "Healthy" Gut Microbiome Expand

Monday, July 24, 2023

2:00-3:30 pm ET

In partnership with the Nutritional Microbiology GEM and the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics

Chair: J. Phil Karl, PhD, RD, USARIEM

Speakers:

Curtis Huttenhower, PhD
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Abigail Johnson, PhD, RD
School of Public Health
University of Minnesota Jotham Suez, PhD
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Supported by: IAFNS Gut Microbiome Committee

It's Time to Quantify Intake Recommendations for Dietary Bioactives Expand

Sunday, July 23, 2023

8:00-9:30 a.m. E.T.

In partnership with the Research Interest Section on Bioactives

Chairs:

Johanna Dwyer, DSc, RD
Tufts University School of Medicine Charlene Van Buiten, PhD
Food Science and Human Nutrition
Colorado State University Speakers:
It is time to translate research evidence into quantified dietary bioactive intakes
John Erdman, Jr., PhD
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Flavan-3-ols evidence translated into a quantified guideline
Gunter Kuhnle, PhD
University of Reading
Reading, England, United Kingdom It's time to quantify lutein intakes to support normal vision
Paul Bernstein, MD, PhD
University of Utah It's time to quantify omega-3 intakes to support normal pregnancy term
Susan Carlson, PhD
University of Kansas Medical Center Panel on next steps to communicate recommended intakes through health care providers.
Speakers and Julie Poteet, OD MS CNS FONS, Ocular Wellness and Nutrition Society

A collaboration with the IAFNS Lipids Committee and Bioactives Committee

For more information, see here.

USDA Global Branded Food Products Database Part of session: "Public Data Sharing - New Norms, Current State of Affairs, and Best Practices Going Forward" Expand

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

8:30-9:30 a.m. E.T.

Supported by: USDA Global Branded Food Products Database Partners

Presenters:

Kyle McKillop, MS, USDA-ARS

Alanna Moshfegh, MS, RD, USDA-ARS

For more information, see here.

Sodium Contributions of Categories of Food Obtained from Restaurants and Stores, Estimated by Considering Foods in Their As-Eaten Form: NHANES, 2009-2018 Expand

Poster Number: P14-041-23

Sunday, July 23, 2023

12:45-1:45 p.m. E.T.

Presenters:

Debra R. Keast, PhD, Food and Nutrition Database Research

Patricia Guenther, PhD, RD, Guenther Consulting

Supported by: IAFNS Sodium Committee

For more information, see here.

The Broader Dietary Value and Consequences of Top Food Categories of Sodium Intake Expand

Poster Number: P24-001-23

Monday, July 24, 2023

11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. E.T.

Presenter: Mavra Ahmed, PhD, University of Toronto

Co-authors:

Anthea Christoforou, PhD
University of Toronto Mary R. L'Abbe, PhD
University of Toronto Christine Mulligan, BSc
University of Toronto Alena P. Ng, Msc.
University of Toronto

Supported by: IAFNS Sodium Committee

For more information, see here.

An Overview of Reviews on the Association of Low-Calorie Sweetener Consumption With Body Weight and Adiposity Expand

Poster Number: P31-025-23

Monday, July 24, 2023

12:45-1:45 p.m. E.T.

Presenter: Kelly Higgins, PhD, MPH, USDA ARS

Co-authors:

Rita Rawal, PhD, RD
USDA-ARS Matthew Kramer
USDA-ARS (retired) David J. Baer, PhD
USDA-ARS David Klurfeld, PhD
Indiana University,
School of Public Health-Bloomington

Supported by: IAFNS Low- and No-Calorie Sweetener Committee.

For more information, see here.

 

Low-Carbohydrate Dietary Patterns are Associated with Beneficial Long-term Changes in Systemic Markers of Inflammation in the Framingham Offspring Cohort Expand

Poster Number: P29-002-23

Monday, July 24, 2023

11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. E.T.

Presenter: Ghaida Aloraini, Tufts University

Co-authors:

Nicola M. McKeown, PhD
Boston University Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc
JM USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University Sai Krupa K. Das, PhD
JM USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University Paul F. Jacques, DSc
Tufts University

Supported by: IAFNS Lipids Committee

For more information, see here.

 

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